Nunes v Brown
Sep 11, 2017
The U.S. Interior Department improperly contributed $85 million in taxpayer funds to help pay for a giant California water project backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, despite pledges from Brown and other state and federal authorities that local water districts would bear all the costs, a federal audit said Friday.
California law and an agreement by the water districts dictate that California’s politically influential water districts are supposed to bear the costs of Brown’s $16 billion proposal to re-engineer California’s shipment of water by building dozens of miles of tunnels to tap into the state’s largest river, the Sacramento.
In 2011, Brown and the then-secretary of the Interior Department reaffirmed that pledge of using no taxpayer funds in a joint public statement supporting the tunnels plan. Other top California officials have repeatedly insisted no tax dollars were being spent on the tunnels, often called a legacy project of the 79-year-old governor, now in his last term.